North Kinsman and South Kinsman Trail via Lonesome Lake and Appalachian Trail

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Franconia Notch State Park

North Kinsman and South Kinsman Trail via Lonesome Lake and Appalachian Trail is a 9.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lincoln, New Hampshire that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length9.4 miElevation gain3,248 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingHikingNature tripsSnowshoeingBird watchingForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyScrambleSnow
Description
Waypoints (6)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

Reservations for day use are required. Please consult the park website. https://www.nhstateparks.org/covid-19 This trail will bring you past Lonesome Lake in an old glacial cirque, past Kinsman Pond to the Kinsman Peaks which are the highest in the range. Kinsman is an open summit offering good views but North Kinsman is wooded with some views to the east. This hike is the quickest and easiest way to get to both peaks in one hike. Park in the Lafayette Campground. Take the Lonesome Lake Trail north and turn left in the Cascade Brook trail until you reach the Lonesome Lake Hut (Operated by the AMC). You may want to rest there, and you can grab a snack, juice, or tea for a few bucks. Continue up into the Fishing Jimmy trail. At the four way intersection you want to continue north (left would take you to the shelter, and right would take you to Cannon Mountain (another popular destination)). Soon you will reach North Kinsman. You have to step east a few feet into the view to take pictures of the White Mountains. Continue the trail to South Kinsman. Retrace to return to your car. Some people combine this hike with Cannon Mountain into a longer hike. You can also do it as a backpack if you stay at the Kinsman shelter.

Franconia Notch State Park 603-823-9513

There is a $3 per day fee to park here.

Rt 93, Lafayette Campground Exit (Exit 34C). Follow signs to Lafayette Campground (reverse direction if coming from South), and park on the day use area.

Weather
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Reviews (564)
Photos (1,832)
Recordings (498)
Completed (1,430)
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Chris Donato
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FishingIcyRockySnow

Echoing other hikers, this is a really, really great winter trail to do. I did it in crampons the entire way, but I saw plenty of people do it in microspikes. If you use snowshoes, be prepared for really steep sections of trail. Despite the harsh winds at the base, the hike up & summits weren't too windy. This parking lot is never "perfectly" plowed, so if you're like me, and drive a non 4WD car, bring a shovel to dig yourself out. Snow is really packed down all the way to Lonesome Lake, making for a really pretty start. Recent snowfalls have obscured the trail to the left (south) of the lake towards the Hut. Watch your footing otherwise you risk going knee deep into snow. Fishing Jimmy is as steep as ever, but totally doable in crampons, and if anything, is easier when the snow & ice is packed than the loose gravel in summer. AT between both summits is pretty easy to navigate. Overall, fantastic hike.

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Peter Kondrat
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We did this hike yesterday and found the trail conditions quite nice. They were for tricky ice sections on fishing Jimmy trail but other than those it was pretty straightforward. Even though there was an overcast coming in going the views we did have were great. Hike took us "slightly over the hillers" 6 and a 1/2 hours to complete. My GPS logged us at 10 and a 1/2 miles

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Dave NH
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Joe Fortier
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Ryan Motyl
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HikingGreat!Icy
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Maxwell Auger
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HikingSnow

Hiked this on Saturday 1/2/21. Snow was still coming down when we started with about 8 inches of fresh powder on the trail. We ascended North Kinsman via the Kinsman Ridge trail. Be warned- this trail is less traveled. We did about 5 miles of trail breaking and summited North Kinsman before turning back and abandoning the South Kinsman attempt. We descended via the Fishin’ Jimmy Trail and connected back to the Lonesome Lake Trail. The Fishin’ Jimmy trail is much more traveled and well packed. I can’t speak to ascending it, but descending was easy going in the fresh snow. Overall, we had great fun despite missing a peak!

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Irina D
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HikingGreat!IcySnow

Gorgeous hike! Doesn't feel as tough as the length/elevation would suggest since there are so many flat stretches in between the ascents. The ground was largely packed snow, with several stretches of ice. Microspikes were perfect. So many hikers welcoming the new year on this trail. Beautiful views along the way and from both summits (I also liked the views from South Kinsmen despite what others say).

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Pedro Oliveira
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Conor Noonan
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Michael Lustwerk
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IG @abel_the_gsp
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Hiking

Long day, but a fabulous day. Snowshoes helped, but not required.

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Evan Shortes
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David Scharlotte
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Alexandru Sabau
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HikingBlowdownSnow

broke trail the last 2 miles to north Kinsman, really had to earn #23.. a few blow downs and duck unders, used snowshoes the entire hike, careful at stream crossings and big boulders etc. no views today but the quiet solitude was nice

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Rachel St Andre
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Hiking

Great hike! Needed spikes about 90% of the time

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Maxim Enis
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Pedro Oliveira
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Andrey Timofieiev
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HikingIcyRocky

11/21 went up to North Kinsman , lots of ice (grab spikes if u go)

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Mike Bielecki
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Allie Cushion
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HikingGreat!RockyScramble

Great weather, warm on the summit and no wind. Definitely a tough trail, but with a great view of Franconia Ridge. It was great to eat my breakfast on Lonesome Lake and watch the sun come up!

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Thomas McGuire
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Hiking

no snow, no ice. little wet. brought crampons, didn't need em. great weather, great walk, especially for November

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